The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday, has sought for an Action Taken Report (ATR) from the Superintendent of Police, Sivsagar district regarding the custodial death of E Henveih Phom (35 years) due to alleged torture by Assam Police at Gelekey Police Station in Sivasagar district of Assam on 21 August 2022. The ATR is to be submitted in four weeks as per the directions of the NHRC.
The Indigenous Lawyers Association of India (ILAI) on 25 August had filed a complaint and considering the seriousness of the case, the NHRC intervened into the matter (Case No. 301/3/15/2022-AD).
The ILAI urged the NHRC to direct the State Government of Assam, among others, to
- conduct a judicial inquiry into the custodial death under Section 176 (1A) of the CrPC which provides for mandatory judicial inquiries in cases of death, rape and disappearance in custody
- submit a detailed report including the post mortem report and CCTV footage of the police station
- suspend all the accused police personnel of Gelekey Police Station under Sivasagar district including the SHO
- take appropriate legal action including under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against them
- provide interim compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to the next of kin of the deceased
Meanwhile, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) has strongly condemned the alleged custodial death of Henveih Phom, demanding immediate intervention of the state to look into the matter and to take it up with the competent authority of counterpart Assam.
It cautioned that such incidents will only prevail in bad blood among the two neighbouring states and stressed that the two states of Assam and Nagaland must ensure that peaceful co-existence within the neighbours be paramount.
“We must ensure that the culprits are booked and dealt according to the existing law. This kind of incident will only prevail bad blood among the neighbours and therefore, both from Assam as well as from Nagaland, we must ensure that peaceful coexistence within the neighbours should be the paramount for all of us. Those who are taking law in their own hand should be dealt with severely and we demand that immediate step should be taken to book the culprit and necessary action should be taken,” said Kikon.
The Eastern Nagaland Students’ Federation (ENSF) and Phom Students Conference (PSC) have also demanded the Nagaland State government to constitute a Special Investigating Team to probe into the matter.
A Candle Light Vigil is also being organised on 30 August by the Phom Students Union Kohima (PSUK) at Old MLA junction, Kohima.